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April, 2021

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Queen's Award for Enterprise - Chamber Network winners 2021

The winners of the 2021 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise were announced on 29 April, celebrating the achievements of UK businesses following an incredibly challenging year. Congratulations to our Chamber Network and their members across the UK who have been recognised in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2021.

New Figures Show Workforce Growth Expected but Some Sectors Yet to See Signs of Revival 

The British Chambers of Commerce today released its Quarterly Recruitment Outlook for Q1 2021. The new figures show continued weakness in the job market in Q1, with 60% of the nearly 6000 businesses surveyed saying they had not attempted to recruit during the quarter. However, the percentage of firms expecting their workforce to grow in the next three months rose from 19% in Q4 2020 to 27% in Q1, the highest percentage since Q1 2020 and a return to pre-pandemic levels more broadly.

BCC says more work to be done after UK-EU TCA ratified

BCC says while it is a relief that the ratification of the TCA has gone smoothly, it is now vital that both the UK and EU work together to alleviate the significant disruption and difficulty which many firms continue to report.

BCC and Barclays LifeSkills launch report on futureproofing the post-pandemic workforce

Report finds that new ways of working introduced during the pandemic offer opportunities for both employers and staff, highlights how supporting employees’ mental wellbeing will become increasingly important, and says equipping school-leavers with skills to deal with new working arrangements will be vital.

BCC welcomes plans for Flexi-apprenticeships

BCC says government proposals on Flexi-apprenticeships and a skills accelerator programme are positive moves

BCC Reacts To Latest UK Labour Market Figures

Commenting on ONS Labour Market statistics for April 2021 published today, BCC Head of Economics, Suren Thiru, said:  "The latest data confirms that the UK labour market remains subdued. While there was a marginal fall in the unemployment rate, the squeeze on activity from ongoing restrictions helped drive a decline in payroll employment in March."

BCC: Concerns over Inflation Rise as Manufacturers’ Price Expectations Climb to 4-year High

The British Chambers of Commerce today announced the publication of new research which shows a rising number of firms expecting their prices to increase significantly in the coming months. The figures also document growing concern among businesses over rising inflation. The data, drawn from responses from more than 5,800 firms, shows 2 in 5 businesses (38%) in Q1 2021 expect to see their prices increase in the next three months, an increase from 25% in the previous quarter. In contrast, only 5% of firms are expecting a decrease.

BCC says ONS GDP figures offer some hope for the future

BCC says data for February 2021 shows modest growth and a further boost is likely as economy reopens but warns that continued improvement is not guaranteed.

Helping the UK hit net zero emissions by 2050

Businesses across the UK are looking at how they can reduce their carbon footprint and bring their overall emissions as close to zero as possible, to help the UK hit its legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050. But for some industries, this presents a far greater challenge than others. Find out more about how Drax can help.

Four in Ten UK Exporters Reporting Decreased Sales in Q1 2021

The British Chambers of Commerce’s Trade Confidence Outlook for Q1, released today, has revealed the stark issues facing UK exporters in the first months of this year. The survey of more than 2,900 UK exporters revealed that the percentage of firms reporting decreased export sales had increased to 41%, up from 38% in the previous quarter. The percentage of businesses reporting increased export sales fell to 20%, down from 22% in Q4 2020. 40% reported no change in their export sales.